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Sunday, June 17, 2018

New Releases 6/19/18

Some of the new titles hitting shelves this week are:

The Anomaly by Michael Rutger

The Mermaid by Christina Henry

The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai

Witchmark by C.L. Polk

Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris

The Lost Vintage by Ann Mah

The Melody by Jim Crace

When Katie Meg Cassidy by Camille Perri

Tell the Machine Goodnight by Katie Williams

Number One Chinese Restaurant by Lillian Li

The Throwaway by Michael Moreci

Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage

History of Violence Édouard Louis

Providence by Caroline Kepnes

Guilt by Amanda Robson

You Were Made for This by Michelle Sacks

Not the Girls You're Looking For by Aminah Mae Safi

Dive Smack by Demetra Brodsky

New on DVD:
Pacific Rim: Uprising
Unsane

Sunday, June 10, 2018

New Releases 6/12/18

Some of the new titles hitting shelves this week are:

Revenant Gun by Yoon Ha Lee

A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza

The Color of Bee Larkham's Murder by Sarah J. Harris

Little Big Love by Katy Regan

Starless by Jacqueline Carey

The Verdun Affair by Nick Dybek

Bearskin by James McLaughlin

Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier

The Bar Harbor Retirement Home for Famous Writers (and their Muses) by Terri-Lynne DeFino

The Bookshop of Yesterdays by Amy Myerson

The Woman in the Woods by John Connolly

All That I Can Fix by Crystal Chan

A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir

New on DVD
Love, Simon
Tomb Raider

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Sparrow Hill Road by Seanan McGuire - rerelease

After much waiting, we're finally getting another Rose Marshall installment. In preparation of the upcoming July release of The Girl in the Green Silk Gown, DAW is rereleasing Seanan McGuire's Sparrow Hill Road - with a brand spanking new cover, too!

You may recall having seen this review back in 2014 but just in case you missed it, I'm reviving it here to get ready for the second volume!

You all know her story - the Girl From the Diner, the Phantom Prom Date, the Ghost of Sparrow Hill Road... killed on her way to prom and forced to forever wander the roads in search of a ride home. Beneath the urban legends, the twisting variations of the story that started it all, is a girl: Rose Marshall.

She wanders the highways and byways of the continent, hitching and helping those whose own fates are tied to the road as well. Some she's able to save, others she helps pass on to their final home.


Savvy Seanan McGuire readers have already met Rose Marshall. The book originally started as a collection of shorts that appeared in The Edge of Propinquity, a webzine whose archives are available here. Twelve of Rose's tales appeared in the zine in 2010 and on her website McGuire notes that one of the stories is still available online through The Edge of Propinquity. Fortunately for the rest of us, most of those original stories have been gathered up and recently released as one volume by the good folks over at DAW!

I could swear that Alvin Schwartz was the first to introduce me to a variation of the popular urban legend that spawned McGuire's latest. Seems like a likely candidate since Schwartz's various Scary Stories collections were tops in my creepy reads lists as a kid. Anyway, McGuire's spin on this classic story is excellent! She fleshes out the tale, giving life to the character in a way those passed along variations never could.

It's interesting that this is still essentially a collection of Rose stories in one volume rather than a linear novel. And our spectral narrator does warn us of this in the beginning of the book. Some may find that leaves the reader with a feeling of disconnection but I kind of felt the opposite. There is a running plot that ties all of Rose's stories together and the book does feel very much like Rose telling us the chapters of her own life and afterlife.

McGuire does a quite effective job of building a really complex world in Sparrow Hill Road. We see some other familiar supernatural presences - a Beán sidhe, mention of a white lady, and a new variation on the strigoi - but many of McGuire's otherworldly presences are new (to me at least). Routewitches, crossroads ghosts, hitchhiking ghosts, homecoming ghosts, and more live in this world. Some - bela da meia-noite, for example - are basically sidebar entries while others like the haunt and the maggy dhu do get brief cameos.